Facebook surprised online denizens by announcing its launch of mobile video ads for app companies in October 2013. These small video prompts appear in iOS and Android versions of the Facebook app, under the “Sponsored Ads” heading.
This could help potential customers get the feel for an app before they download it. Facebook hopes the new marketing tactic will entice more companies to invest in advertising, because the immersive video experience can leader to greater install rates. Many social media experts speculate that video ads will become a feature that all businesses can use, not just app companies.
Video and engagement rates
Facebook conducted multiple case studies and tests before releasing the new mobile video ad functionality. A Facebook Developer blog post reveals how DoubleDown Casino was able to pull in higher install and engagement rates and spend less.
Facebook integrates a compelling “Install Now” button directly underneath the video, which makes it easy for customers to engage with app content and load it onto their personal devices.
Mobile app marketplaces can be tricky to navigate for budding developers, because it’s hard to instill a hands-on experience. Unlike brick-and-mortar retail shops, most app companies rely on the appeal of their in-store text and graphics to sell their product.
However, video allows prospective buyers to immerse themselves further into an app experience, simulating what the hands-on version could be like. These miniature demos can be just the push customers need to invest in a mobile app.
Ad bidding options
The Facebook video ad announcement came with additional exciting news. Advertisers can now choose between two buying processes as they create their marketing budgets.
You can bid on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis or a cost-per-action (CPA) basis. Depending on your product, marketing strategy, and audience, these options can save you quite a bit of money. The CPA strategy can pay off for mobile app companies, because they’re only charged once someone actually installs their app.
Having two advertising options can be a great boon for companies, especially if they begin to grow out of one Facebook advertising strategy.
Work with your marketing leadership to calculate the ROI behind your social media advertisements. If you believe your business would thrive on an action-based strategy, then CPA would be the best fit for you. However, some companies fare better through pure exposure: viewing the video might be enough to compel viewers to try a product, without their decision hinging on app installation. These types of companies would thrive with the traditional CPC approach.
Paving the way for video
Currently, Facebook mobile video ads are limited to companies that have registered apps with the Ads Create Tool. Social media experts have a keen eye on the developer blog, which will be updated as new data comes out regarding video advertising. It’s possible that this shift in media will herald new forms of advertising for all types of businesses.
Companies are already cashing in on the marketing potential of video. Just think about all the pipeline generated by viral videos on YouTube. With Facebook’s foray into video marketing, firms are dusting off their video cameras and going to work on what they hope will be the hottest new viral hits. This could change the engagement landscape, with more businesses investing in video production and creative scripts.
Facebook is on the edge of an entirely new branding and marketing philosophy, one that allows prospective customers to play video ads right on their mobile devices. This is particularly important for people interested in starting their own business or purchasing a business in Canada. Canadian startups will enjoy more of a level playing field with US companies on the web.
These new forms of media advertising are changing the way we engage with social media advertisements.